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Key Quotes - Nicky Henderson on his runners at Sandown on Tingle Creek day

Last updated: 08 Dec 2023
Jon Vine 08 Dec 2023
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  • Key quotes from trainer Nicky Henderson
  • The Tingle Creek Chase and Fighting Fifth Hurdle will be run at Sandown on Saturday
  • Read Henderson's thoughts on Constitution Hill, Jonbon and more
nicky henderson constitution hill
Horse racing trainer Nicky Henderson with Constitution Hill at Seven Barrows Stables. (Getty)

Ahead of a fantastic card on Tingle Creek day, top trainer Nicky Henderson talks readers through his runners at Sandown on Saturday.

*All quotes taken from the Unibet blog*

Nicky Henderson Quotes - Sandown (December 9th)

11:35 Willmount (Nico de Boinville)

He was very good on his Hurdles debut at Newbury and is a horse we have quite high hopes for. The ground is an obvious concern but he won his Point to Point on soft so there is hope in that department and he’s a big, strong horse which also bodes well. This is another step up, in what looks a very competitive race, and we will know a lot more after this.

12:05 Fable (Nico de Boinville)

She can sometimes have her own ideas about the game but is a very talented a mare who will almost certainly go back chasing this season. She is a very lazy work horse, and shows you absolutely nothing at home, but comes alive at the track, and this looks a very good opportunity for her. I wouldn’t rule her out that’s for sure.

12:40 Chantry House (Nico de Boinville)

He ran a brilliant face on his return at Cheltenham which was lovely to see because he took a crashing fall at Wetherby over fences last year, so I was very happy to see him go out there and enjoy himself and he’s come out of it in great shape. Chasing could be on the agenda further down the line, if we need to, but I can’t see any reason not to stay where we are for the time being and I’m hopeful he can run another huge race.

On The Blind Side (James Bowen)

He’s part of the Seven Barrows family and we all absolutely adore him. Just when you think he’s had enough of the game, he goes and pops up at 50/1 and make fools of us all! He is in fine fettle at home, and it would be wonderful to see him go well.

1:15 Constitution Hill (Nico de Boinville)

Obviously, Constitution Hill is the horse everyone is interested in, and we will be monitoring the situation very closely. I’ve spoken to Nico and Michael and we all want to run, which his why he has been declared, but it may not be entirely in his best interests, or welfare, to run on ground like it might be. The Christmas Hurdle is very close so we need to take that into consideration, but the horse’s well-being is paramount and one has to bear in mind it could set him back much further than Kempton on Boxing Day, because we don’t want to jeopardise his chance of winning another Unibet Champion Hurdle. If it is attritional, we have to be able to reconsider, and I know it will be disappointing for everyone, but Constitution Hill will always come first and that is where we draw the line.

Perhaps I’m being very pessimistic, and the ground might be nowhere near as bad as I’m expecting, but I just wanted to warn people that we are assessing the situation and do not want to run him on terrible ground just for the sake of it and potentially jeopardise his whole season.

Shishkin (James Bowen)

I remember saying in last week’s blog that the Rehearsal Chase was Plan Z, well, that has now been blown out of the water and I guess we’re into minus Z territory! The thing is, I HAVE to get a run in to him if we are going to go to Kempton, so we’re coming here and hopefully it will put him spot on for the King George. I’m pretty certain he won’t misbehave again because George Daly, my assistant, will be down at the start and they begin at the top of the straight heading towards home so I am confident that won’t be an issue again. At the beginning of the season when he’s very fresh he can sometimes be, let’s just say, a little bit stroppy, but once he’s had a run he becomes a different person which is why I am desperate to get a run into him. All I want him to do is go out there and enjoy himself.

2:25 Impose Toi (Nico de Boinville)

He got a 10lbs hike in the ratings for his win at Cheltenham, so I cannot say I think he’s well handicapped, but he never shows a great deal at home so who know how good he actually is. Real soft ground is an obvious concern, but he won his bumper on it so there is hope.

3:00 Jonbon (Nico de Boinville)

The fact that he has only been beaten by Constitution Hill and El Fabiolo in his 13 starts to date tells you everything you need to know about this horse’s talent, and it is entirely possible that he put up a career-best when beating Edwardstone and Nube Negra in the Shloer on his return. He is two from two at the track, and handles soft ground well, so his chance in the Tingle Creek is obvious. But I expect last year’s winner Edwardstone to give him more of a race this time.

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